The provincial government has stepped in to resolve a stand-off between the Ugu District Municipality and disgruntled workers who were allegedly sabotaging the water supply to some South Coast towns.
Following the deployment of task teams to the embattled municipality, said the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), an agreement was reached that would signal end of the water disruptions which had crippled the areas for months.
Acting MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Weziwe Thusi said in a statement that workers would return to work immediately. Water and sanitation services would be restored soon and that the recovery process of the district's water systems was continuing, she said.
“It is our duty to ensure that all our municipalities live up to their constitutional mandate without any impediments,” said Thusi.
She appealed to municipal workers to “refrain from resorting to acts of sabotage when they are in disagreement with their employers. It is wrong and illegal and it must come to a stop,” said Thusi.
On behalf of the provincial government, she apologised to residents.
But, fed up residents did not buy it, and vowed to go ahead with a planned class action lawsuit.
Sam Botha, a Margate resident who started a mass lawsuit petitioning campaign on change.org, said the legal action was based on principle and because they believed this would occur again if no one was held accountable.
The petition now has almost 4500 signatures.
Botha said she was fearful that the sabotage would continue, particularly as the busy festive season was approaching.